Family-Like Environs Earn ADS Security ‘Best Places to Work’ Award

By Ashley Willis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For its ability to retain employees and boost worker morale, ADS Security (ADS) earned a spot on Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in the large company category (101-500 employees).

“I am so proud of the team we have at ADS Security,” ADS President and CEO John Cerasuolo says. “Not only are they the best employees in the security industry, they also make ADS Security such a fun and rewarding place to work.”

To participate in the program, an ADS employee had to nominate the company as one of the best places to work in the Middle Tennessee area. After receiving the nomination, at least 70% of the firm’s employees had to complete an online survey conducted by Quantum Workplace. The anonymous survey measures 10 key engagement categories, including team effectiveness, trust in senior leaders and manager effectiveness.

Established in 1989, ADS provides security and life-safety installation and monitoring services to more than 70,000 commercial and residential customers throughout the southeastern United States. The firm has roughly 280 employees, including 100 at its Nashville branch.

A first-time winner, management at ADS credits its victory to listening to employees when hiring its workers. In fact, ADS staff members referred friends and family to join the company.

“It’s a process to find good employees,” ADS CFO and General Counsel Ernie McDaniel tells SSI. “But we have a great onboarding process. Our company is relatively small, so everybody gets along and we have kind of a family feel.”

That type of work environment has helped ADS retain employees, according to McDaniel, who says that when the firm looks to hire more people, it uses recruiters and classified ads in the local newspaper. ADS executives understand that in order to do a job effectively, staff members must have the proper knowledge of the trade. Thus, the company makes sure all its employees receive quality instruction to earn certain levels of certification. Additionally, the firm’s higher-ups choose up to six workers who they believe have the potential to be in management positions and send them to the Scarlett Leadership Institute. The program leverages the knowledge of top business leaders to help counsel and teach the next generation.

Along with a comprehensive benefits package, incentive programs also motivate employees. For example, the firm hosts an annual President’s Club event, which honors sales representatives who have reached their quotas. In addition, several technicians and staff employees are also invited to the big dance. Naturally, annual bonuses definitely boost worker morale, according to McDaniel.

“We have an annual bonus plan where all employees are eligible for 3.75% of their base pay, depending on whether their branch or department hits designated targets,” he says. “I would say that is probably the most important incentive.”

The company also holds events at Nashville Shores, a family recreation center with a waterpark, as well as cookouts in the office as a way to thank employees for all of their hard work.

On April 10, ADS, which has also received two 2013 SAMMY Award nominations including Installer of the Year (small to midsize company), will be recognized for its accomplishments during an awards luncheon at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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